Based on his best-selling book, 'The Coloring Book,' Comedian Colin Quinn takes on the history of New York - his hometown - in this solo show, directed by Jerry Seinfeld. More…
In 'Colin Quinn The New York Story,' Colin bemoans the rise and fall of his hometown, the city formally known as New York, from its modest beginnings as a Dutch outpost, to the hipsters of modern Williamsburg, to the vermin below and above ground. Quinn employs satire to take aim at the prejudice, paranoias, and peculiarities that make New York City the crossroads of the world.
"Deep in the heart of the West Village — there's an off-Broadway theater in which a small handful of people gather nightly to celebrate the Gotham of yesteryear. Their high priest is SNL alum Colin Quinn, whose latest standup show, 'The New York Story,' is half history lesson, half old-fashioned ethnic humor, and totally hilarious." Full Review
"The subtext of Quinn's new show, is that we should celebrate our polyglot heritage and lose the politically correct tendency to squeeze everyone into the same mold. And if that means unearthing all the old stereotypical tropes we tried to bury, well, he’s got a million of them — and they’re all hysterically offensive." Full Review
"The raspy-voiced comedian delivers his distinctive combination of killer one-liners and astute observations. The evening has a well-honed seamlessness that, combined with the unified themes, raises the stand-up routine to satisfying theater. This is one 'New York Story' you want to hear." Full Review
"Immediately ingratiating himself to the audience by strutting around the stage like he owned it—another typical New Yorker trait—Quinn is a top-notch storyteller. He tosses off yarns with the matter-of-fact air of someone who’s seen it all. He’s helped in this department by the direction of Jerry Seinfeld—someone else who knows comedy quite well." Full Review
"New Yorkers have become so wary of offending people that we’re afraid to acknowledge our differences, Colin Quinn argues in 'The New York Story,' a sage and snappy stand-up outing...Quinn’s monologue is mostly lean and bracing. Overall, he makes a really strong point that could just embolden some to let down their guards a bit." Full Review
"Quinn quite rightly sees 'the New York story' as being about different layers of attitude arising from each new immigrant ethnic group. He goes right for the jugular, humorously eviscerating political correctness...'The New York Story' is jaunty and fun with a biting edge, a thought-provoking good time that I can easily recommend." Full Review
"Just as theater is always dying, New York is perpetually over. Complaining about its demise, however, remains one of its wonderful traditions, and Colin Quinn, a comic alert to ritual, plants himself firmly in the middle of it in his new monologue, 'The New York Story,' a nostalgic lament that makes for a lovely summer evening." Full Review
"From the sale of Manhattan in 1626, we begin to understand another side to the melting pot of inhabitants as they came to the new world. It’s unabashedly politically incorrect humor...No one is left unscathed. The satirical outlook is alight with the prejudices and paranoia we see around us everyday – that’s why it’s funny." Full Review
"If you can keep up with Quinn's choppy delivery, you will undoubtedly be impressed by his touching embrace of the natures of the various peoples from around the world. He's prompted to be more active than necessary, but Quinn ultimately doesn't allow a lot of unnecessary cavorting distract or detract us from the laugh-inducing journey." Full Review
"Quinn is our very own griot. He serves up our past on a platter and hand feeds us one morsel after another, careful not to go too fast so that we don’t choke from laughing at the hot pepper of truth packed in each nugget. He is sloppy and unkempt and at times appears not to know his next line. It’s all a ruse. Colin Quinn is the guy on the corner shuffling the three cups around asking you to find the hidden nut inside." Full Review
"Quinn's more like the really smart, down-to-earth, and naturally funny guy with whom you get into an interesting conversation at a bar. If you like the idea of a kind of casual history and sociology lesson with a guy like that, and you aren't easily offended, 'Colin Quinn The New York Story' is a breezy, fun evening in the theater." Full Review
"In a time when areas of the city are becoming virtually indistinguishable from one another, it’s rough not to wonder if he’s onto something with 'The New York Story,' which, by the end, is impressively both a great piece of comedy and social commentary." Full Review
"Quinn seemed to get off to a rocky start but quickly got things under control. Whether it was due to a change in the order of his jokes, or possibly a last minute improvisation, it didn’t take very long for Quinn to recover and launch into the rest of the show at full steam...The formidable pair of Jerry Seinfeld and Colin Quinn have put together a comedy act which is (nearly) as fact-filled as it hilarious." Full Review
"He’s working off a script, but he riffs and runs with whatever’s hitting. His straightforward style lets him flip through impressions in a simple, effective manner. The show has the same joke rate of a good standup set, in the comfortable environs of off-Broadway. It’s comedy for people who are scared of clubs, and theater for comedy lovers put off by the pretension of the stage." Full Review
"Quinn piles up the stereotypes, but from a place of admiration and affection. A hundred years ago ethnic humor was used in vaudeville as a way of bonding the people of a city of immigrants with the attitude that nobody was above being the subject of a good-natured joke and this appears to be Quinn's vantage point." Full Review
"Quinn’s best solo show yet. So strong is the material that it doesn’t need the few flourishes devised by director Seinfeld. The topic is the comedian’s hometown — how its character was formed by wave after wave of ethnic groups. He smartly takes the edge off potentially sensitive material by filtering it through personal reminiscences." Full Review
"Today pickles can be artisanal, but people are generic. The same might be said of Quinn’s show. 'The New York Story' is an amusing enough diversion. But there’s nothing so unique about his version of the Big Apple saga." Full Review
"Quinn's musings are full of Seinfeld's brand of observational humor. Quinn has a chummy rapport and brings plenty of laughs, but..It's too bad he didn't delve deeper into New York culture, rather than just bring up stereotypes. That being said, Quinn has a remarkable ability to employ racial humor without being the slightest bit offensive." Full Review
"Since Quinn doesn't have an ounce of malice in his voice, his particular brand of humor isn't at all offensive It's just extremely funny...The show actually has a fair share of food for thought...But 'The New York Story' isn't a completely nutritious meal. To use the theme of the show, it's sort of like Chinese food. You're plenty satisfied while it goes down, but you're hungry two hours later." Full Review
"As he fast-mumbles through centuries of immigrants, Quinn does not imitate so much as channel, just for a momentary nuance...For all the enjoyable low-key virtuosity, the examples eventually come perilously close to feeling like a list. When Quinn contends that,"People were prejudiced without being racist," the distinction feels too easy. At the risk of eggshell-walking, I'm not sure I buy it." Full Review
"Quinn's selling himself, primarily, on regular-guy chutzpah. Hey, he asks the audience, don't we all feel a little paranoid these days? These aren't original questions...In the end, the show works best as breezy entertainment -- a 'Story' told with earthy charm and, naturally, with a little bit of attitude." Full Review
"Quinn takes few liberties with his well-honed formula of cantankerous street wisdom and affectionate ethnic observations...His default position of defense against political correctness seems as much humble-brag as genuine iconoclasm...As subversive ethnic humor goes, 'The New York Story' is pretty fang-free." Full Review
"Quinn’s manic exasperation and joke-writing chops carry the short show through its first half nicely. But eventually the format sags and the angry middle-aged schtick sours. Eventually, his contention that we’re all too scared to talk about race starts bleeds into rehearsing tired stereotypes." Full Review
"The evening is little more than Quinn's cycling through each immigrant population, deconstructing what made them unique and how it contributed to the creation of today's distinctive New York personality...Comedy that takes few chances, has to work extra-hard to fly extra-high, and Quinn doesn't quite get all the lift he should." Full Review
See it if you're a fan of intelligent, well-constructed comedy. Mr. Quinn's laid-back style creates a very intimate experience, serving the work well.
Don't see it if you are expecting loud, raunchy comedy. This is more of thinking man's stand up, jokes are clever and insightful. Truly a wonderful night.
See it if You want to hear a very cynical and very funny view of the way New York City has developed and changed.
Don't see it if You will be bothered by the fact that you're paying about $1 a minute to be there.
See it if you love New York and everything about it. Or hate New York and everything about it. Quinn is low-key, funny, and spot-on. A great time.
Don't see it if you are looking for laugh-a-minute comedy or something terribly profound.
See it if you enjoy Quinn. CQ is more stand-up than of theater. The history is fun, the characters vivid. Still, some material seems misguided.
Don't see it if the idea that the old days were better bothers you. It was better for white men. The second half lags. I had fun, but it's not real theater.
Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies